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AIS Introduce New Tool To Help Enhance Wellbeing In Sport

N
ational Sporting Organisations (NSOs) that receive government funding through the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) must submit a biennial report called the AIS Wellbeing Health Check.

The AIS report, following a successful 12-month pilot, the AIS Wellbeing Health Check will “provide a standardised resource to assess the wellbeing cultures of national high-performance sport programs.”

The check will address six key areas; mental health, cultural values, injury prevention and management, selection and non-selection, conduct and behavioural standards, and equality and inclusion.

AIS CEO Peter Conde, said the check marks another important step in prioritising wellbeing in Australian high-performance sport.

“The wellbeing of our people in Australian sport is vital and it also goes hand-in-hand with peak performance,” Conde said.

“Australia’s high-performance sporting system has a collective goal to build sustainable success, and so we need the right support networks and cultures in place for athletes and staff to realise their potential and thrive, in and out of competition.

“To continually improve wellbeing in high-performance sport programs, we need athletes, coaches and staff to be able to share their insights and experiences in a confidential and independent way.

“We want this to be a positive process to help sports and athletes, so the AUS will offer our support if potential gaps are identified.

“Equally, we will be able to identify areas where sports are performing well.

“We can celebrate that too and use that information to inform develop wellbeing services and strategies across Australian sport,” he said.

Athletes, coaches, and support staff will receive a confidential survey and NSOs who receive funding through the AIS must complete a self-assessment every report two years.

Conde said; “individual responses will be protected, overall results will only be shared with sports in summary form.”

Though the program officially begins this month, the AIS said most sports will report after the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Speaking with The Ticket, AIS director for people development and wellbeing, Matti Clements, said; “We bring in all the data… and are able to provide feedback to that sport across a couple of different areas inclusive of mental health, selection and non-selection etc.”

“We want to be able to proactively get data to have conversations with the sports around how they are actually going culturally.

“We are aligning it with the funding… if a sport was to take no action against the implementation plan that comes from that data, we’d be having a very strong conversation with that sport about the ongoing funding,” she said.

Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck noted the importance of the health and wellbeing of Australia’s sports men and women said the Australian Government is determined it remains a priority.

“Our athletes face enormous physical pressure, in their individual campaigns to reach their goals,” Colbeck said.

“But we now know the impact this can also have on their mental health.

“The AIS Wellbeing Health Check is an important initiative that will help ensure our elite sports stars are encouraged and supported at every stage of their journey,” he said.